Paris Noir


What is black and black and beige all over??? Paris in November 2011.

Landing in Gare du Nord after the super-quick chunnel trip from London, I felt like Dorothy being transported lickety-split from the Land of Oz back to Kansas. All color drained from the scene. Gone were the colored tights. Gone were the bright coats. No more men in jaunty two-tone colorful looks. Paris was ALL BLACK. With a little beige thrown in. It was shocking. Of course, I was completely at home. I had packed black and more black, with winter white and a few red accents thrown in.

By the Tuileries in a black suit by Lafayette 148 and an Hermes scarf from 1993

On Sunday afternoon, my other half, George, and I walked from Notre Dame to Hemingway’s old haunt, Les Deux Magots, one of my favorite cafes from my junior year abroad in 1986-87. It hasn’t changed a bit.

We ordered a glass of wine (to start) and I spent the next several hours observing the fashion statements as they appeared. Before I unveil my snapshots of women and men mostly walking away from me, let me tell you the trends I spotted:

1) Black from head-to-toe (including handbags)

2) Beige from head-to-toe

3) Beige trench coats with jeans

4) Black and white

5) Other shades: grey, camel, olive, ochre

6) Lace up boots, short colored boots

7) Capes and scarves

8 ) Colored pants….mostly on the men!

9) Fur embellishments

The men looked cool in their blue blazers, jeans and scarves. For the most part, the women didn’t hold up their end of the fashion deal. Here’s a look at my afternoon at the cafe. The photo quality decreased as my glasses of rose increased.

First the men:

This gentlemen wore a camel leather trench, with burgundy pants and shoes. Although it looks like he is posing, he was in a full conversation with himself and oblivious to my photo taking just feet away.

And this fellow was great in yellow

And then the women in black:

She was black with dark denim exept for the burgundy boots

She looked good coming and going..

And now the beige on beige

Except for LV bag, she was awash in….well, beige

Feeling underwhelmed?? So was I. I saw a few fun looks —

Capes and boots – next to woman in ALL BLACK!!

White and black (I also saw a gal in white jeans with brown boots but she moved too quickly for me)

And for the under 25 crowd — shorts with tights

This look was all over London, too. My niece Amelie found some adorable brown leather shorts to wear with tights and boots.

Here are the gentlemen I have to thank for the glasses of rose wine that aided my photographic journey. Merci beaucoup!

London fashion captivated me as it was bright and fun. Paris seemed serious and a petit peu uncreative. I was really glad I packed my fabulous Robin Brouillette silk car coat that brightened up all my evening looks:


And, for once, I was the splash of bright in the sea of black.


1 Comment

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One response to “Paris Noir

  1. Katie

    Looks like a fabulous trip. Surprised the Parisians were sooo drab. Love the color Londoners.

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